Kaufmann-Kray Model of Good Governance

Shahid H. Raja
4 min readMar 5, 2024

What is the Kaufmann-Kray Model of Good Governance?

Developed by two World Bank economists namely Daniel Kaufmann and Aart Kraay, the Kaufmann-Kray model of good governance is a framework for measuring governance and its impact on development. The model is based on the idea that good governance is essential for economic growth and development and that it can be measured using a set of indicators. The Kaufmann-Kray model is part of a larger effort to develop indicators for measuring governance. The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project, which Kaufmann and Kraay were also involved in.

Covering over 200 countries /territories and used to assess the quality of governance in different countries and to identify areas where improvements can be made, the Kaufmann-Kray model focuses on six key dimensions of governance:

  1. Voice and Accountability: This dimension measures the extent to which citizens can participate in the selection of their government, as well as freedom of expression, association, and the press. Indicators include political rights, freedom of expression, media independence, and civil liberties.
  2. Political Stability and Absence of Violence: This dimension measures the likelihood of political instability and violence in a country. Indicators include the number of coups and revolutions, the level of political violence, and perceptions of security.
  3. Government Effectiveness: This dimension measures the quality of public services, efficiency of government bureaucracy, quality of policy formulation, and capacity for implementation. Indicators include the quality of public services, efficiency of government bureaucracy, quality of policy formulation, and capacity for implementation.
  4. Regulatory Quality: This dimension measures the effectiveness of regulatory institutions, transparency of rule-making, protection of property rights, and ease of doing business. Indicators include the effectiveness of regulatory institutions, transparency of rule-making, protection of property rights, and ease of doing business.
  5. Rule of Law: This dimension measures the extent to which citizens have confidence in and abide by the rules and laws governing their society. Indicators include the independence of the judiciary, the effectiveness of law enforcement, protection of human rights, and access to justice.
  6. Control of Corruption: This dimension measures the level of bribery and corruption in government, the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures, and transparency in public procurement. Indicators include the level of bribery and corruption in government, effectiveness of anti-corruption measures, and transparency in public procurement

The data sources used to measure these indicators include surveys of citizens, businesses, and experts, as well as official statistics and other secondary data sources. The methods used to aggregate these indicators into composite measures are complex and involve statistical techniques such as principal component analysis

Overall, the Kaufmann-Kray model provides a comprehensive framework for measuring governance that takes into account multiple dimensions and sources of data.

Strengths of the Kaufmann-Kray model

  1. The model provides a comprehensive framework for measuring governance that takes into account multiple dimensions and sources of data.
  2. The indicators used in the model cover a wide range of areas and are measured using a variety of data sources such as surveys, official statistics, and expert assessments.
  3. The model has been widely used by policymakers, academics, and international organizations to assess the quality of governance in different countries.

Limitations of the Kaufmann-Kray model

  1. The indicators used in the model are based on perceptions rather than objective measures of governance, which may limit their accuracy and reliability.
  2. The model may not capture all aspects of governance that are important for promoting development and well-being.
  3. The model may be influenced by cultural and contextual factors that affect how people perceive the quality of governance in different countries.
  4. The model may not be suitable for comparing governance across different regions or cultures due to differences in perceptions and values

Kaufmann-Kray model VS other Models

The Kaufmann-Kray model of measuring good governance is one of several models used to assess the quality of governance in different countries. Other models include:

  1. The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI): This model, developed by the World Bank, measures six dimensions of governance: voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption. The WGI uses a similar methodology to the Kaufmann-Kray model but includes additional indicators such as gender equality and social inclusion.
  2. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance: This model measures governance in 54 African countries using four categories: safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.
  3. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Index of African Governance: This model measures governance in 54 African countries using four categories: safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.
  4. The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI): This model measures governance in 129 developing and transition countries using two categories: political transformation and economic transformation.

Each model has its own strengths and limitations in measuring good governance. For example, the WGI includes additional indicators such as gender equality and social inclusion that are not covered by the Kaufmann-Kray model. The Ibrahim Index focuses specifically on African countries, while the BTI covers a broader range of developing and transition countries. Ultimately, the choice of model depends on the specific research question or policy objective

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